A few week’s ago (12 September 2020), I finished off a summer of outdoor swimming with a 5km swim in the Thames at Dock2Dock.
Dock2Dock was my target event when I resumed swimming about three months ago – frequently training at Liquid Leisure in Datchet, due to its lovely 750 meter loop, superb water quality, super friendly staff, and nice vibe. The lake is about a 40-minute drive from my SW London home, and COVID-19 restrictions meant swimmers had to arrive swim ready. For me, this typically involved top down driving along the M4 in a two piece swimsuit and wetsuit pulled-up waist high.
I also found that I really loved Heron Lake, which is near Liquid Leisure and a few minutes closer to home. Heron Lake also has superb water quality, a friendly atmosphere and 500m and 1,000m courses.
2020 is the second year that I’ve participated in Dock2Dock.
This year, I completed the course in an official time of 1:40:50.
My 2020 Garmin time being 1:40:08.
In 2019 (13 July), my official time was 1:40:36.
My 2019 Garmin time was 1:40:16.
Swimming in the Thames is a truly magical experience; it’s famous, big, imposing and choppy with incredible views of the city.
I am pleased with both my 2019 and 2020 Dock2Dock times, and I can see a lot of areas for improvement with my outdoor, mass participation swimming, pacing and technique.
Now that I’m dusting off my winter wardrobe and many outdoor swimming venues are closing for the season, my training is likely to focus on strength, movement, running and Peloton cycling (given this year’s COVID-19 restrictions I have a home-based spin studio – kitchen conversion), with some swimming here and there.
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